When they first released the Nexus One, Google attempted to shake up the smartphone purchasing market by offering the device to consumers unsubsidized and unlocked, directly from their website. Now, rumor has it that Google is once again puling that play out of that playbook, and will sell the rumored Nexus tablet/Asus MeMo through their own online store when they announce it later this year.
According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, this move is designed to help pit the Nexus tablet against the likes of both the Kindle Fire from Amazon and the iPad by providing an easy way for consumers to get the latest and greatest in Android hardware and software directly from Google.
However, I don't really think this program is as big of a deal as it was with the Nexus One. Whereas phones are usually sold with a contract and tied to carriers, making Google's offering substantially different, tablets are usually purchased without subsidization directly from manufacturers.
Could this then hint that the Nexus tablet will support some sort of mobile data connectivity as well? I suppose it's possible, but it doesn't really seem likely. If Asus and Google want to keep the tablet's price down, then cellular connectivity seems like an unnecessary extra. Of course, I will certainly be buying it regardless of cellular connectivity, so any bit of new information is always welcome.[Wall Street Journal]